Monday, April 27, 2009

Kavanagh and the AZGOP serve one up

Today, the Arizona Guardian has an article by Dennis Welch and Patti Epler on the GOP's plan to balance the budget, a plan that includes a scheme to dramatically raise the out-of-pocket costs that the state's poorest students have to pay to attend a state university.

Because, of course, fairness is a basic tenet of Republican ideology. and during a budget crisis, it's only "fair" to increase the burden on the poor while giving tax breaks to large corporations.

State Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Scottsdale), from the article -
"It's the principal [sic] of it," he said. "It's unfair. Why should these students get to go to school for free just because their families are poor?"
Further down in the article Kavanagh provides examples of who he considers to be worthy of the state's largess -
Under the GOP proposal, students with merit-based or athletic scholarships would not be asked to pay a minimum tuition. Veterans also would not be asked to meet a minimum tuition level.

Kavanagh said lawmakers recognize the value of athletics to the universities and their ability to raise money from alumni.

"Do you really want to see the ASU basketball team go to the bottom and lose all that revenue?" Kavanagh said.
As an aside, I know of a couple of UA alums who would answer his question with a resounding "YES!!" but let's get back to politics. We can save that discussion for another day.

As to his first point (a free education), let us now peruse Article 11, Section 6 of the Arizona Constitution (emphasis mine) -
"The university and all other state educational institutions shall be open to students of both sexes, and the instruction furnished shall be as nearly free as possible."
The question shouldn't be "why should poor students get a scholarship?"

It should be "why don't more students? After all, the requirement *is* part of the state's constitution."

And to point out a "minor" bit of hypocrisy on Kavanagh's part -

His legislative bio lists his education as coming from New York University (BA), St. John's University (MA), and Rutgers University (PhD).

Yes, those are all fine academic institutions.

Yes, Kavanagh should be commended for earning degrees from those fine academic institutions.

Oh, and yes, those fine academic institutions all offer need-based financial aid to students. and to more than just those who are jocks and veterans.

Tedski at R-Cubed has his take here. He succinctly keyed on the same passages that I found so "special".

Donna at Democratic Diva has her take here. She's even more succinct than Tedski. Snarkier, too. Tedski must be slipping. :))


1 comment:

Thane Eichenauer said...

Dern those Republicans. Don't they know that there are people in Arizona being foreclosed on and here they think jocks deserve special tuition breaks.